Letters: Defending Miers

Supreme Court appointments are important; they are life-long positions, and they are the only federal positions that are unelected. While Elie Dvorin’s Nov. 7 column, “Back to the text,” recognizes the importance of Supreme Court appointments, the article fails to give legitimate reasons for Harriet Miers’ lack of qualifications to be a Supreme Court nominee and for discrediting judicial activism.

Dvorin describes Miers as a judicial nominee “in the mold of God knows what.” While a huge point of controversy between conservatives and liberals alike was the lack of judicial experience that Miers had under her belt, Dvorin mocks her and ignores the qualifications that she does have including being a trial litigator, the President of the State Bar of Texas from 1992-1993 and a member of President George W. Bush’s White House Staff since 2001. While it is unlikely for Supreme Court appointments to lack experience on the bench, the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist had no judicial experience when he started his term on the high court in 1971.

Dvorin also portrays “judicial activism” as “running rampant throughout the entire federal judiciary.” I think this type of cynicism is uncalled for, especially when Dvorin doesn’t back it up accordingly. He states that “opponents of strict constitutional interpretation” say it “stifles social progress” and equality issues; then, he refutes this argument by citing the Equal Protection Amendment and the precedents following it which are held up by strict constructionists with utmost respect. However, Dvorin disregards the fact that it was judicial activism that made the statement “All men are created equal” to include women and minorities. If it weren’t for judicial activism, we would not be living in a nation of equal opportunity.

Hopefully with the President’s new Supreme Court nominee, Samuel Alito, discussion of his credentials and his strict constructionist views will be fully supported.

Elyse Russo

junior in LAS